Publication Type

Journal Article

Version

Publisher’s Version

Publication Date

12-2015

Abstract

Unlike the position in criminal law, there does not currently exist a general doctrine of accessory liability in civil law. Thus, a person may be liable as an accessory in equity for dishonestly assisting with a breach of trust, but there is no tort for dishonest assistance. Rather, one who participates in another's tort will only be liable if he is a joint tortfeasor acting pursuant to a common design with the primary tortfeasor. This article examines the reasons for this divergence and evaluates the case for their assimilation. It observes that, contrary to common perception, the scope of participatory liability in both sphers does not materially differ. It also concludes that the case for assimilation is not made out if the overarching principle for civil accessory liability is defined principally be reference to criminal concepts of complicity. Such an approach overlooks the fundamental distinctions between civil and criminal processes and threatens to extend civil liability beyond acceptable bounds.

Keywords

Accessory liability, joint tortfeasance, dishonest assistance, torts, Singapore

Discipline

Asian Studies | Torts

Research Areas

Law, Society and Governance

Publication

Singapore Academy of Law Journal

Volume

27

First Page

851

Last Page

879

ISSN

0218-2009

Publisher

Singapore Academy of Law

Embargo Period

4-21-2016

Copyright Owner and License

Authors and SAL

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://www.sal.org.sg/digitallibrary/Lists/SAL%20Journal/DispForm.aspx?ID=747

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